THE BIBLE: We believe the Bible as set forth in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments to be verbally inspired of God and inerrant in its original autographs. It is the final authority in matters of belief and conduct. II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:20-21, 3:1-2
THE GODHEAD: We believe there is only one living and true God. Who is infinite in being and perfections, a completely pure spirit, invisible, without body, unchangeable, immensely vast, eternal, limitless, almighty, completely wise, completely holy, completely free, and completely absolute. He works everything according to the purpose of His own unchangeable and completely righteous will for His own glory. God has all life, glory, goodness and blessedness in and of Himself. He is the only source of all being, by Whom, through Whom, and to Whom everything exists. Within the unity of the Godhead there eternally exists three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This tri-unity is co-eternal in being, co-equal in power and glory, possesses the same attributes and perfections, is the same in substance but distinct in personal expressions. Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19-20, II Corinthians 13:14
GOD THE FATHER: We believe that God the Father is the first person of the Trinity. Within the functional economy of the Godhead He occupies the position of Head and is deferred to as such by the other members. The Fatherhood of God expresses an inner family relationship within the Godhead and also extends outward toward the redeemed. The Father eternally exists; He is not generated and does not come from any source; He is absolutely sovereign, holy, loving, righteous, almighty and glorious. Genesis 1:1, Psalm 99:1-5, I Peter 1:17
GOD THE SON: We believe that Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word, Second Person of the Trinity, of one substance, equal with the Father. He took on Himself the nature of man, with all its essential qualities and ordinary frailties – except that He is sinless. Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The human and divine were inseparably joined together in the one person Jesus without being altered, disunited or mixed. The person Jesus is truly God and truly man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and men. He is the prophet, priest and king, the head and savior of His church, the heir of all things, and the judge of the world. Isaiah 42:1, 53, John 1:1-14, 3:16, Romans 1:1-4, I Corinthians 15:1-3
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son, of the same substance and equal in power and glory, is, together with the Father and the Son, to be believed in, loved, obeyed and worshipped throughout all ages. He is the giver of life, the source of all good thoughts, pure desires and holy counsels of men. By Him the prophets were moved to speak the Word of God, and all the writers of Holy Scriptures inspired to record infallibly the mind and will of God. He is the only efficient agent in the application of redemption. He regenerates men by His grace, convicts them of sin, moves them to repentance, and persuades and enables them to embrace Jesus Christ by faith. He unites all believers to Christ, dwells in them as their Comforter and Sanctifier, gives to them the spirit of adoption and prayer by His sanctifying and sealing work until the day of redemption. He imparts various gifts and graces to the individual members of the church. By him the church will be preserved, increased, purified and at last made perfectly holy in the presence of God. Genesis 1:2, 6:3, John 14:26,16:5-15
THE FALL OF MAN: We believe that God created man in His own image, male and female. Adam and Eve were endowed with intellect, emotion and will. But our first parents sinned in eating forbidden fruit. By this sin they fell and became dead in sin and completely polluted in their faculties and parts of body and soul. Since Adam and Eve are the root of all mankind, the guilt for this sin has been imputed to all human beings, who are their natural descendants and have inherited the same death in sin and the same corrupt nature. This original corruption completely disinclines, incapacitates and turns us away from every good, while it complete inclines us to every evil. From it comes all actualized sins. Every sin, both original and actual, transgresses the righteous Law of God and brings guilt on the sinner. Every sinner is consequently subject to the wrath of God, the curse of the Law and death with all the resultant miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal. Genesis 1-3, Romans 1:18-32, 5:12-21, 6:23, 8:20
SALVATION: We believe that the doctrine of Salvation is central to the message of Scripture. Deliverance from the condemnation, control and consequence of sin was PLANNED, EXECUTED, and APPLIED by the Triune God. The ULTIMATE basis of our salvation rests in the unconditional election and eternal PLAN or counsel of God the Father in eternity past. The INSTRUMENTAL or historical basis of our salvation was OBJECTIVELY executed by Jesus Christ the Son of God through His active obedience to the Law of God and His passive satisfaction of divine justice through His penal substitution and atoning death on the cross. The efficacy of His triumph over sin and death was formally endorsed and confirmed by His bodily resurrection, ascension and present session in heaven awaiting the glorious consummation of our total deliverance at His coming. SUBJECTIVELY this word is applied to the elect by the Holy Spirit which is comprehended in a series of biblical concepts which when stated in their logical order include: CALLING, REGENERATION, CONVERSION, JUSTIFICATION, ADOPTION, SANCTIFICATION and GLORIFICATION. No one of these terms is adequate to fully explain the meaning of Salvation.
CALLING: At the right time, appointed by Him, God effectually calls all those and only those whom He has predestined to life. He calls them by His Word and Spirit out of their natural state of sin and death into grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. God’s GENERAL CALL involves the free offer of salvation in the Gospel to all the world, it is an ethical summons to repent and believe. His EFFICACIOUS CALL is that initial saving act of God, whereby the sinner is enabled, because of the sovereign grace of God, to respond to the Gospel and fulfill His eternal will. Effectual calling usually accompanies the General call in the external proclamation of the Gospel. Matthew 28:19-20, John 6:44, Romans 10:11-15
REGENERATION: Is the creative work of the Holy Spirit which quickens or makes alive the sinner, giving him the ability to respond to the Gospel in repentance and faith. Regeneration is wholly of God with man being completely passive. It precedes all true spiritual activity pertaining to Salvation and is synonymous with the term “born again”.
II Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:4-6
CONVERSION: Is the exercise of a regenerated heart in response to the call of God in the Gospel. Conversion basically means “to turn” and denotes a change of outlook and direction in life and action. It involves the full-orbed transformation of the heart, mind and personality of a man through two elements called faith and repentance.
FAITH: Is the positive turning of a soul toward God. It is a divine gift which enables the regenerated person to know, assent to Christ, and obligates him to trust in Him alone for Salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9, II Timothy 1:12, Hebrews 11:1-3,
REPENTANCE: Is the turning of a soul away from sin and self-reliance. It is a Divine gift by which a sinner is made aware of not only the danger but also the filthiness and odiousness of his sins as contrary to the Holy nature and righteousness of God. Upon apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ the penitent grieves for and hates his sins, and turns from them all unto God purposing and endeavoring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments. Psalm 51, Acts 5:31,11:18, II Timothy 2:25
JUSTIFICATION: Is a judicial act of God’s free grace. This is not because of anything worked in the sinner or done by him, but for Christ’s sake alone. God does not consider faith itself or any other obedient response to the Gospel as an act of righteousness on the sinner’s part. Rather He imputes to the sinner the obedience and judicial satisfaction of Christ. By His obedience and death, Christ completely discharged the debt of all those who are so justified, and made the correct, real, and full satisfaction to His Father’s justice on their behalf. It includes the removal of guilt and condemnation by the gift of forgiveness and restoration to favor with God. Romans 3:24, 4:5,24-25, 8:33, Galatians 2:16
ADOPTION: God guarantees the adoption of all those who are justified in and for the sake of His only son, Jesus Christ. Those adopted enjoy the liberties and privileges of God’s children, have His name put on them, receive the Spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness and are enabled to cry Abba Father. They are pitied, protected, provided for and disciplined by Him as a father. They are never cast off, but are sealed until the day of redemption and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation. ADOPTION, like Justification, is a judicial act. It is the bestowal of a status, not the implanting of something within us. It has to do with relationship, not disposition.
Romans 8:15-17, Galatians 4:4-6
SANCTIFICATION: The basic meaning of SANCTIFICATION involves being “set apart from the profane and dedicated unto God.” It is the progressive outworking of the new life implanted by the Holy Spirit in regeneration, whereby the dominion of sin is destroyed, the capacity to serve and please Satan is displaced and mortified and the capacity to serve and please God is continually strengthened in all spiritual graces to the practice of true holiness in conformity to the likeness of Christ.
Romans 8:28, 12:1, I Corinthians 1:30,6:9-11, Hebrews 10:10
GLORIFICATION: Is the final climactic act in God’s redeeming work whereby the believer is at last constituted perfect in Christ both in body and soul forever. It will bring to final fruition the purpose and grace which was given in Christ Jesus before time eternal.
II Timothy 1:9, Ephesians 1:4, Colossians 1:22
THE CHURCH: The plan of redemption, or the covenant of grace is always the same. That is to say, men have always been saved in the same way, whether under the Old economy, or the New. There is a strong continuity of elect people of God throughout the ages. They comprise one unified company of the redeemed. The universal church exists as scattered throughout the world and consists of all the elect of this age who are united into one body under Christ the Head. The local church is the gathered expression of the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ and the house and family of God. The purpose of this elect company is to glorify God, edify one another and make disciples of all nations. The church is to preach God’s Word, administer the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper and practice discipline among its members which profess faith in Jesus Christ in evidence of regeneration. Matthew 16:18, 28:18-20, John 10:16, Acts 2:42, 8:1, Ephesians 3:21, I Timothy 3:15
SATAN: We believe that Satan is a personal spirit-being originally created as an angel who fell from his privileged position sometime before the Fall of man. His objective is to defeat God’s Kingdom. He has a host of demons who help carry out his wicked schemes. The death of Christ has freed the elect from Satan’s power, and both he and his angels will be eternally punished in the lake of fire at the last judgment. Genesis 3:1, Job 1:7, Isaiah 14:12-17, Ezekiel 28:11-19, Ephesians 6:12-18, Colossians 2:15
THE ETERNAL STATE: God the Father has ordained a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom He has given all power and judgment. The righteous will enter the eternal state of blessedness, joy and refreshment that comes from the beneficial presence of the Lord. But the wicked who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will be thrown into eternal torment and punishment with everlasting destruction away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power. Scripture recognizes only these two places, and no other, for souls separated from their bodies. Genesis 3:19, Ecclesiastes 12:7, Phillipians 1:21-24,
PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS: We believe all those elected by the Father, redeemed by the Son and effectually called by the Holy Spirit can never completely or finally fall away. Rather, they will definitely persevere in that state to the end and are eternally saved. Nevertheless, the temptations of Satan, and the world, along with the neglect of the means of their preservation may lead believers to commit serious sins and to continue in them for a time. They consequently displease God and grieve His Holy Spirit. Some fruit of God’s grace and His comforts are taken away from them. They have their hearts hardened and their consciences wounded. They hurt and offend others and bring temporal judgments on themselves. Yet by virtue of being in Christ they will yet persevere. Those who truly believe in the Lord Jesus may in this life be assured of salvation. They are established on the divine truth of the promises of salvation. The inward testimony of the Holy Spirit will give them insight, peace, and evident changes in both character and conduct. John 5:24, 6:37-39,44-45, Ephesians 1:3-5, Hebrews 6:17-18, Ii Peter 1:3
BAPTISM: We believe that the New Testament ordinance of Baptism, instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, is the immersion of a Believer in water in the name of the Triune God. It is a testimony of that believer’s identification by faith with Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection as our substitute. Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:41, 8:26, Romans 6, Galatians 3:3, Colossians 2:12
LORD’ S SUPPER: We believe that the New Testament ordinance of Communion, instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, is the regular partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine by Believers in remembrance of the death of Christ on our behalf. These elements, symbolic of His body and blood, are to be offered to all believers, preceded on each occasion by thoughtful consideration of the Body of Christ, i.e., His death and His Church.
Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:14, I Corinthians 10:16-17, 20-32